CNN’s Famous Anchor Bernard Shaw Passes Away At Age 82

Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw died on Wednesday of pneumonia that had nothing to do with Covid-19, his family said.  Shaw was CNN’s first chief anchor. He joined the network on June 1, 1980, the day it started. He left CNN on February 28, 2001, after more than 20 years there. Shaw covered some of the most important events of his time, like the student revolt in Tiananmen Square in May 1989, the First Gulf War life from Baghdad in 1991, and the election for president in 2000.

“CNN’s beloved anchor and colleague, Bernard Shaw, died yesterday at 82. Bernie was a CNN founder and was our Washington Anchor when we started on June 1, 1980,” CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht said in a statement Thursday. “He was our lead anchor for the next twenty years, covering everything from presidential elections to the First Gulf War live from Baghdad in 1991.

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Even after he left CNN, Bernie remained a close member of our CNN family, giving our viewers background on historical events as recently as last year. We at CNN send our condolences to his wife Linda and his children.” Shaw’s family said that only family and guests would be able to attend his funeral. Later, a public memorial service will be held in his honor.

news anchor bernard shaw

In place of flowers, the family asked that money be given to a scholarship fund, according to a statement from former CNN CEO Tom Johnson. “At this time, the Shaw family asks for complete privacy,” the family said in the report. In a statement, Johnson said that Shaw “represented excellence in his life” and will be remembered as “a fierce advocate of responsible journalism.”

“As a journalist, he demanded accuracy and fairness in news coverage. His honesty and independence earned him the respect of millions of worldwide viewers. He fought hard against any attempts to lower ethical news standards or weaken solid news coverage. As a reporter and anchor, he could always be trusted,” Johnson said. “Bernie was my friend and coworker for more than 55 years, and I will miss him very much,” he said. “My wife Edwina and I send Bernie’s wife Linda and his family our deepest condolences.”

Early Career

Shaw was born to Edgar and Camilla Shaw in Chicago on May 22, 1940. He served in the Marine Corps for four years. While there, he was stationed in Hawaii, where he met TV news legend Walter Cronkite and asked him for advice on how to become a reporter.
Shaw started his career as a radio reporter in Chicago, where he met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who told him, “One day you’ll make it, just do some good,” Shaw said. His first job in TV was as a political reporter for CBS, where he helped cover the Watergate scandal. Later, he worked for ABC as a correspondent and bureau chief in Latin America, where he and his team took the only aerial photos of the Jonestown, Guyana, massacre.
He left ABC to work for Ted Turner’s Cable News Network, the world’s first 24-hour TV news network. He said many of his former coworkers thought he was crazy for making this move. He had said, “I thought it was the last frontier in network TV news.” Turner wrote a statement about Shaw on Thursday night after hearing about his death.
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“Bernie was a pioneer, a consummate professional, and one of the most respected journalists in the country. As a masterful mentor whose calm and disciplined demeanor set the perfect tone for historical coverage that would define his twenty-plus year career at CNN, his legacy will live on in work and minds of so many journalists worldwide,” Turner wrote to Shaw’s family to express his condolences. “A hero for democracy and the truth has died.

Shaw Says Goodbye

Shaw said he left CNN in November 2000 to spend more time with his family and write books. “My best time has been just being here and helping to do what you, our viewers, want, which is to be informed right away with context and insight. And to you worldwide and across our great land here in the U.S., I have valued your criticism and suggestions more than your praise because scrutiny can be instructive,” he told viewers.

“Leaving this business and CNN is harder than getting into it, especially after 20 years here. But some roses smell so good, and as a gardener, I want to grow more of them and smell them when I’m not writing.”
Shaw won many journalism awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting. In 1999, he was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

At CNN’s 35th anniversary party in Atlanta in 2015, he told CNN staff and alumni, “We were a team. That’s the only way the network succeeded and that’s the only way the network made history.” “We were successful because you made making your best a habit. You did it every day. You kept going.”

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